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In a surprise move, Microsoft made a $150 million investment in Apple. The deal was part of a technology-sharing agreement under which Microsoft's Internet Explorer will become the default browser in the Macintosh. On a separate front, Apple released System 8, a major upgrade to the Mac OS, and dismissed its chairman of 17 months, Gil Amelio.

Responding to a firestorm of criticism, America Online hastily abandoned an unpublicized plan to sell its subscribers' phone numbers to telemarketers.

Still pushing an alternative to Windows, Sun Microsystems and Netscape announced the developer release of the Java Foundation Classes, a full set of GUI components and foundation services designed to simplify development of Internet, intranet and desktop applications.

Microsoft denied persistent rumors that struggling online service Microsoft Network will get another major overhaul-and perhaps stop charging fees altogether.

While the suite wars continue unabated, so do the partnerships between the rivals; Microsoft and Lotus are not only tightly integrating Internet Explorer 4.0 with Lotus Notes 4.6 for clients but have also arranged to bundle IE4 with Lotus SmartSuite.

Digital's highly praised but long-struggling Alpha microprocessor finally got some good news: As promised, Microsoft released Word 97 and Excel 97 for the Windows NT/Alpha platform, and PC maker Tri-Star Computer unveiled its first Alpha workstation line.

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 51.

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